South Africa farmers seek $220m to manage drought

AgriSA boss, Omri van Zyl has described the crisis as a national emergency

South Africa’s agricultural industry body, AgriSA is seeking to raise 3 billion rand ($220 million) to help farmers hit by severe drought.

Agrisa’s Executive director;  Omri van Zyl said the Industry body will approach banks, agribusiness and government for the fund.

 Following an El Nino-induced drought in 2015, farmers in most parts of South – Africa have faced dry conditions in the past one year.

“We have basically reached a point now where we don’t have any more fat in the system. There is no buffer any more in the agricultural sector,” AgriSA boss, Omri van Zyl told reporters.

Van Zyl said the group will also speak to the government’s National Disaster Management agency to get access to the contingency reserves.

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 He further described it as a national emergency which will impact directly on consumer prices

The droiught is also taking a toll on livelihood as a survey of producers showed that 31,000 jobs and 7 billion rand ($510 million) in potential revenue were lost since January last year because of the drought.

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